The latest video featuring an entitled White woman calling the cops on a Black man for no reason is riling social media users.
A White woman—identified as Amy Cooper— was walking her dog off-leash in the Ramble area of New York City's Central Park on Monday when she got into an argument with a Black man about her unleashed dog.
Christian Cooper—who is Black and whose same surname happens to be coincidental—was bird watching in the same area known to be populated with various avian species between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. Cooper is a writer who worked as an editor for Marvel Comics and is now a senior biomedical editor at Health Science Communications.
The Ramble also requires all dogs to be leashed at all times. That was when he spotted Amy and asked her to put a leash on her dog.
She reacted defensively.
Their tense confrontation escalated when she threatened to call police if Christian Copper did not follow her orders, telling him she would tell 911 an "African American man" was threatening her life.
Christian captured the conflict on his phone and later posted it on Facebook where it went viral.
In the video that had 18 million views on Twitter by early Tuesday, Amy—who initially had a mask on—was seen asking him to stop recording. She then threatened that she would call the police if he didn't do what she said.
Wanting to maintain social distancing, Christian responded:
"Please don't come close to me."
"Please call the cops."
Amy warned Christian:
"I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life."
The thing that gets me most about the #AmyCooper story is that she stated her intentions to Mr. Cooper up front: I'… https://t.co/sPsIIPSnlU— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@BrooklynDad_Defiant!) 1590502434.0
Christian was dismissive of the racially-based intimidation tactic and said:
"Please tell them whatever you like."
She then pulled down her mask and called authorities, reporting:
"I'm in the Ramble and an African American man with a bicycle helmet, he is recording me and threatening me and my dog."
@melodyMcooper Well good thing she took her mask off so we can ID her.— Alexander Chee (@Alexander Chee) 1590446801.0
She then acted like she was emotionally losing control on the phone while also struggling to hold onto her unleashed dog.
"I'm sorry, I can't hear!"
"I'm being threatened by a man in the Ramble, please send the cops immediately!"
She eventually attached the harness to her dog's collar while on the phone. Christian said "thank you" as soon as she attached the leash and stopped filming.
The internet was furious over the tactics Amy Cooper used to get her way.
Melody Cooper, Christian's sister, tweeted her response to her brother's clip by invoking the popular "Karen meme"—in which an entitled White woman threatens to speak to a supervisor.
"Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous [Ramble] in NY's Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash."
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clear… https://t.co/zFb3O0cClz— Melody Cooper (@Melody Cooper) 1590426192.0
@Dom_DidThat He’s fine, thankfully. No I told him to be careful! As soon as she leashed the dog, he said thank you… https://t.co/rftg3LTfBy— Melody Cooper (@Melody Cooper) 1590430020.0
And Amy Cooper became a hashtag.
@FTI_US Fire her. She's a despicable racist and animal abuser. And she's unhinged. People like #AmyCooper need to k… https://t.co/JQd7Z6bSZ9— Andy Ostroy (@Andy Ostroy) 1590464852.0
With #AmyCooper trending, this is a good time to remind folks that there is a school of thought that there is no su… https://t.co/6As0tCHkNc— Dr. Jonathan Alfred Brown (@Dr. Jonathan Alfred Brown) 1590502715.0
Making a false police report is a crime. I prayerfully assume choking your dog is a crime in all states.… https://t.co/NdciQMeKNK— Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (@Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta) 1590493657.0
Amy Cooper came forward by that evening and began issuing a public apology with a statement written to NBC New York and speaking to various news outlets. However she added to her apology that she "feared for her life" and was justified in calling the police.
People were also concerned over the health of her dog that she appears to choke in the video. Amy returned the 2 year old Cocker Spaniel to the rescue that she adopted the dog from on Monday.
Amy was also suspended from her job.
According to Business Insider, Franklin Templeton Investments, a US asset-management firm, said that an unnamed woman was placed on leave as the company conducted an investigation of the incident.
In their statement posted on Twitter, the company announced how they dealt with the situation.
"We take these matters very seriously, and we do not condone racism of any kind."
"While we are in the process of investigating the situation, the employee involved has been put on administration leave."
In response to an incident involving an employee on May 25th, Franklin Templeton issued the following statement. https://t.co/8f2lMwK0r5— Franklin Templeton (@Franklin Templeton) 1590461004.0
Wow. Franklin Templeton’s whole website is down. Is Amy Cooper taking her employer down with her? 😜 #AmyCooper… https://t.co/ILUT5hntI9— Jeff Strabone (@Jeff Strabone) 1590455353.0
The company later announced she was fired over her actions.
Following our internal review of the incident in Central Park yesterday, we have made the decision to terminate the… https://t.co/3GkCjsaYn7— Franklin Templeton (@Franklin Templeton) 1590517491.0
"I think I was just scared," Amy Cooper told CNN, while making one of her public apologies.
"When you're alone in the Ramble, you don't know what's happening. It's not excusable, it's not defensible."
She added that her "entire life is being destroyed right now" and that she meant no harm to the African American community.
"I'm not a racist. I did not mean to harm that man in any way."
A white woman has apologized for calling police on a black man in Central Park on Monday, after the two argued abou… https://t.co/5HNWgsvzSd— CNN (@CNN) 1590484204.0
#AmyCooper said, “Her entire life is being destroyed right now.” But she had NO PROBLEM trying to destroy a Black m… https://t.co/hNwDCLVG3N— Hannah Drake (@Hannah Drake) 1590495712.0
Before the incident was filmed, Amy Cooper said she was startled when she saw Christian Cooper "running in an open field" but later contradicted her own claim that Christian was running.
"This man, he was bird-watching. He came out of the bush."
Christian said he spoke up about leashing her dog because he noticed it was "tearing through the plantings."
"That's important to us birders because we know that dogs won't be off leash at all and we can go there to see the ground-dwelling birds."
"People spend a lot of money and time planting in those areas as well. Nothing grows in a dog run for a reason."
Despite Amy Cooper's unsubstantiated claims of being yelled at, Christian said he "was actually pretty calm" as evidenced by his video of the encounter even when Amy Cooper moves toward him.
He also explained what prompted him to get out his phone and hit the record button.
"I videotaped it because I thought it was important to document things."
"Unfortunately we live in an era with things like Ahmaud Arbery, where black men are seen as targets. This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn't having it."
@melodyMcooper I was wondering why people are continually filming each other, but I soon realized this man was smar… https://t.co/5pU6mXmFat— Scout Green 🇨🇦 (@Scout Green 🇨🇦) 1590434818.0
By the time officers from the New York Police Department arrived on the scene of an "active assault" according to the 911 report sent to them, neither Christian Cooper nor Amy Cooper was present.
CNN reported there were no arrests or summonses made at that time.
When asked if Christian Cooper accepts her apology, he said:
"If it's genuine and if she plans on keeping her dog on a leash in the Ramble going forward, then we have no issues with each other."
But others are not as willing to accept Amy Cooper's decision to lie to weaponize the police against a person of color.
She told NBC4 New York:
"When I think about the police, I'm such a blessed person. I've come to realize especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realize that there are so many people in this country that don't have that luxury."